Downward facing goat at Fairview Wine’s kids yoga
GOAT yoga is a unique experience, said Charles Back, owner of Fairview Wine and Cheese.
After first gaining traction in the US, the animal therapy-meetsexercise concept has been grabbing everyone’s attention, with videos going viral across social media. These sessions incorporate exercise, nature, bonding with animals and a great deal of enjoyment.
Keeping these in mind, Fairview Wine and Cheese started Goat Yoga sessions on October 7.
“As kidding season started on our farm this spring, I had a light bulb moment. I realised we have both the space and the baby goats to create a unique African first, and so I thought, well why not give it a try and add another Fairview “first” to our repertoire? After a round table meeting with our goat herd, our baby goats agreed to hop on board,” Back said.
Nestled within the picturesque grounds of Fairview Wine and Cheese is the hay-stacked studio space, where every Saturday and Sunday between 9am and 10am, the baby goats participate in a therapeutic session. Their task? To cuddle and nibble humans while they twist their bodies into postures, in the pursuit of good health.
Raine Dunn of Body Poetry conducts these classes. She said that goat yoga combines two different therapeutic modalities. Both yoga and spending time with animals reduce stress and calm the mind.
“Having the baby goats around has wonderful therapeutic effects! You can’t help but forget about your daily worries, breathe deeper and smile when you are surrounded by their sweet bleating and gentle nudges. I love seeing the look of pure peace on my students’ faces after class!” she said.
There are dog yoga classes held in Cape Town, but goats have never been used before. It is an unusual choice but Dunn said that goats are not that different from dogs. They are the only other animals who wag their tails to express joy!
“Most people don’t often get to spend time with baby goats, so this adds a unique element. Goats are very lovable and curious creatures. This is my first time teaching goat yoga. When Charles first pitched the concept to me, I immediately grasped the benefits of combining yoga with animal therapy. I am finding it very rewarding!”
Dunn started practising yoga at 19, and it has been a huge part of her life for the past 13 years. For years she dreamed of one day teaching as her calling is to help people heal themselves through a holistic approach. No special training is required to teach goat yoga.
The concept was first tested at this year’s La Capra Goat Run held in September. They made a video and shared it on social media. Soon, there were overwhelmingly large numbers of people with questions about the next session.
This kind of yoga is inclusive and seeks participation from all kinds of people.
“I always start the class by telling my students that this will not be a very serious yoga class! It’s all about relaxation, de-stressing, and connecting with yourself and nature. I design my classes to be accessible for everyone from complete beginners to advanced yogis,” Dunn said.
The classes will be held until December 31 and cost R100 each. They can be paid for in cash on the day. However, since space is limited to 25 people per class, you need to book in advance by either calling or emailing Dunn. More information regarding this is available on its event page on Facebook.
Due to overwhelming demand, Goat Yoga classes have been extended till December 31.
Goat Yoga at Fairview Wine and Cheese is a good way to keep fit while a baby goat keeps you company.
Baby goats are calm and comforting and that makes them great yoga companions.